Benchmark exercise for fluid flow simulations in a liquid metal fast reactor fuel assembly

E. Merzari, P. Fischer, H. Yuan, K. Van Tichelen, S. Keijers, J. De Ridder, J. Degroote, J. Vierendeels, H. Doolaard, V. R. Gopala, F. Roelofs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As part of a U.S. Department of Energy International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (I-NERI), Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) is collaborating with the Dutch Nuclear Research and consultancy Group (NRG), the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK·CEN), and Ghent University (UGent) in Belgium to perform and compare a series of fuel-pin-bundle calculations representative of a fast reactor core. A wire-wrapped fuel bundle is a complex configuration for which little data is available for verification and validation of new simulation tools. UGent and NRG performed their simulations with commercially available computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes. The high-fidelity Argonne large-eddy simulations were performed with Nek5000, used for CFD in the Simulation-based High-efficiency Advanced Reactor Prototyping (SHARP) suite. SHARP is a versatile tool that is being developed to model the core of a wide variety of reactor types under various scenarios. It is intended both to serve as a surrogate for physical experiments and to provide insight into experimental results. Comparison of the results obtained by the different participants with the reference Nek5000 results shows good agreement, especially for the cross-flow data. The comparison also helps highlight issues with current modeling approaches. The results of the study will be valuable in the design and licensing process of MYRRHA, a flexible fast research reactor under design at SCK·CEN that features wire-wrapped fuel bundles cooled by lead-bismuth eutectic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-228
Number of pages11
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
StatePublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • General Materials Science
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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